Fourth quarter rally comes up just short as UMass falls at Arkansas State, 35-33

Staff Reports
Published: 11/12/2022 7:40:32 PM

A furious second-half comeback fell one play short for the UMass football team on Saturday.

The Minutemen rallied from a 35-19 deficit in the fourth quarter, scoring a pair of final-period touchdowns to get within two points with just 18 seconds remaining.

But Garrett Dzuro’s two-point conversion pass to Isaac Ross was stopped just short of the goal line, and host Arkansas State survived for a 35-33 victory at Centennial Bank Stadium in Jonesboro, Ark.

UMass fell to 1-9 on the season.

“The first two games [of the season[ were not very competitive at all, and from then on, I think you can hang your hat on most of those efforts,” UMass coach Don Brown said of his team. “We’ve just continued to improve. People don’t want to hear it but before you can win it, you’ve got to be in ‘em. And we’re in ‘em on a week to week basis.”

Dzuro came on at quarterback in relief of an injured Brady Olson and finished the game 10-for-15 passing for 129 yards and a touchdown. He connected with Ross for a 27-yard touchdown that set up the two-point attempt in the waning seconds.

Earlier in the fourth quarter, Ellis Merriweather scored his second touchdown of the game, a 4-yard scamper, and Dzuro’s two-point pass to Merriweather made it a one-score game with UMass down 35-27.

Merriweather finished with 122 yards rushing on 29 carries and two TDs. Olson also threw a touchdown for the Minutemen, finishing 13-for-27 for 172 yards and two interceptions. Cam Sullivan-Brown caught three passes for 72 yards while George Johnson had two grabs for 72 yards. Josiah Johnson finished with a team-high eight receptions for 58 yards.

An Olson pick-six in the second quarter that was returned 26 yards by Trevian Thomas enabled the Red Wolves (3-7) to take a 14-3 lead into halftime.

Olson’s TD toss came in the third quarter, when he hit Johnson for a 19-yard score with 6:14 left to pull the visitors within 21-19.

Arkansas State answered with back-to-back touchdowns, including a back-breaking 75-yard scamper by Marcel Murray on the ensuing possession.

UMass scored 27 points in the second half – a season-high for any half this season. It was also more points than the Minutemen have scored in any single game all year – previous high was 24 against Liberty on Oct. 8.

“I thought we had a good plan, thought there was a good mix of run and pass,” Brown said. “Obviously having Cam Sullivan back for the second week in a row, and George Johnson kind of emerged on the scene. The nice thing when you have a team that you’re really working hard to develop, it’s nice to see certain guys when they get their opportunity make the most of it.”

Brown said the second half effort on the offensive side of the ball was particularly nice to see.

“It just seemed like it clicked. The guys kept competing, stayed together, and that was refreshing to know that we’re doing that when things haven’t gone our way most of the year,” he said.

The schedules gets harder for UMass next week, as it travels to College Station for a game at SEC foe Texas A&M (3-6). Kickoff it set for noon eastern.


Boston University 5, UMass 1

The Terriers tallied twice in the opening stanza, dominating for the second night in a row en route to a 5-1 Hockey East victory on Saturday night at Agganis Arena in Boston.

Boston University led 3-0 after two periods before UMass finally got on the board in the third period with a goal from Eric Faith.

The Terriers answered with two straight to secure the weekend sweep. They won Friday’s game in Amherst, 7-1.

Reed Lebster and Cal Kiefiuk assisted on Faith’s goal. UMass goalie Cole Brady made 32 saves and allowed five goals before being relieved by Henry Graham, who stopped eight shots.

The Minutemen (5-5-1, 1-5 Hockey East), which have lost five games in a row, return to action Friday on the road at New Hampshire.

Sign up for our free email updates
Daily Hampshire Gazette Headlines
Daily Hampshire Gazette Contests & Promotions
Daily Hampshire Gazette Evening Top Reads
Daily Hampshire Gazette Breaking News
Daily Hampshire Gazette Obits
Daily Hampshire Gazette Sports
Daily Hampshire Gazette PM Updates
Daily Hampshire Gazette Weekly Top Stories
Valley Advocate Newsletter
Daily Hampshire Gazette Dining & Entertainment


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, your leading source for news in the Pioneer Valley.

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

23 Service Center Road
Northampton, MA 01060


Copyright © 2021 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy